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April 16, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Campaign targets road tax evasion

POLICE and highway authorities said yesterday that they will team up to crack down on a string of roadside agents who charge to help drivers of out-of-town vehicles evade an expressway tax.

Police told Shanghai Daily yesterday that this type of tax evasion is rising and that they would increase patrols at toll stations.

Officers said drivers evading the tax will be fined 200 yuan (US$30.59) for deliberately covering their car license plate. Those selling the covers will be detained for repeat offenses.

"We will try our best to stop them but they always play hide and seek with the patrol force," said Xu Bo, a police officer in Jiading District.

Undercover reporters from a local TV station taped some transactions taking place at a toll station on the G15 expressway in Zhuqiao, Jiading District. They broadcast it on Thursday evening, which raised public attention.

In the video, vendors waved plastic covers, bearing the first letters of local plates such as "Shanghai A" or "Shanghai B" to attract drivers who were pulling in to the toll station.

Cars with non-local plates are subject to an extra local highway toll of 50 to 110 yuan when entering Shanghai.

After a deal is reached - usually for around 20 yuan - the agents block the first letters on the non-local plates with the covers. The plates then appear as a Shanghai one from a distance, police said.

Highway official Dong Hui said toll station workers, who are mostly women, have been "threatened and even attacked" by those selling the plate covers.

Now some workers are afraid and turn a blind eye to the transactions.

Dong said the increased police presence will help them stop the illegal business, which causes a loss of revenue to the local government.


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